Monday, November 30, 2015

November 30, 2015

New Trio:
Sisters Foderaro, Coleman and Shirley
So this week we had a very interesting surprise. We were out tracting on Tuesday and we got a phone call from the moving elders saying they were bringing us a new bed. And I was unintentionally kind of rude, I feel bad about it now... I kept insisting that our beds were fine and we didn't need a new one. Then after we hung up Sister Foderaro pointed out what had not even occurred to me. We might be getting a new companion! Right after that we got a call from the assistants saying that we were going to be in a trio and we needed to come to transfers the next day. Surprise!

So our new companion is Sister Shirley! She's awesome, I love her :) She just finished training, so she's been out for 3 months. Poor thing, I really hope we don't trunk her out... Trios are definitely different, but I've enjoyed it so far, we have a lot of fun! It helps that both of my companions are wonderful :) And I'm glad we'll have someone here to take over the area when we leave. President said that he wanted to have someone to take it over because we were doing a good job here. Yay!

I hope everybody had a happy and thankful Thanksgiving! Ours was really good! We had dinner with some families from the ward and the food was fantastic. Except they tried to fry the turkey but it turned out kind of... black. It was good on the inside though :) We have to email at the library now since our apartment complex only has 2 computers. And the ones here won't let me send any pictures :( So hopefully I can figure that out another week.

Oh, and the W are getting baptized! Finally!! On December 19th. There are still a lot of complicated things going on there, but they want it so badly. Especially the mom, P. So we're going to fast and pray really hard and have faith that it will work out.

The only other exciting thing that happened is I cut my hair. Nothing too drastic. I guess that wasn't that exciting. Yep. That's all. Have a wonderful first week of December!

Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty -Job 5:17.

Monday, November 23, 2015

November 23, 2015

We were surprised by these photos via text
from a member in Jordan's area.  They
are helping put together Thanksgiving baskets.

First off, transfer news: Sister Foderaro and I are both staying! Which means we'll both be here for our last transfer! It was kind of a surprise because usually they don't have have missionaries go home together. But we're really happy! I'm very relieved to know that I'll never be transferred again. I love this area and I'm really glad to spend the rest of my time here!

This week was a really good one. We taught a lot more lessons than we usually do. We're both trying to work as hard as we can because we're realizing the end is near! Ah!

Some… interesting moments:
This week I thought I was going to meet my demise. It was going to be the Jehovah's Witness lady, in the front yard, with the butcher knife. Now don't get me wrong, most of the JW's we meet are very lovely people. And this lady was too. But she was standing in her yard with a butcher knife and slowly walked over to us. It was insanely creepy. I think she was just gardening… But she was a very nice lady who I guess just likes to garden with a very large knife. No judgement.
And a bird pooped on me. A pet bird. A little girl gave it to me to hold and it relieved itself all over my shirt. And I had to go around like that for the rest of the night.

There's this hilarious couple in our ward who recently found out that she's pregnant. We were the first ones that they told, before their family or anything. The wife is a member and the husband is not. But they told us that whether it's a boy or girl, the baby is going to be named Jordan Alissa (Sister Foderaro's first name) Martinez :) Lucky kid :)

We were able to set a baptismal date with S (the girl whose bird pooped on me). And we taught this really amazing lady who was a referral from a member of another ward. She's been through a lot of hard things, including cancer and losing both of her parents within a few months of each other. We taught her the Plan of Salvation and as I was testifying to her I very strongly felt the Spirit confirm that what I was saying was true. I love those moments. The Spirit is so amazing. Hopefully she felt it too.

We're having a hard time meeting with people this week because everyone's out of town for Thanksgiving. But we're going to have Thanksgiving with some members. Only one Thanksgiving dinner this year, last year we had 2 and that was wayyy too much food. We had some really good talks on Sunday about gratitude. I am amazed by people who are able to be grateful despite really difficult circumstances. I love this time of year when the more stubborn among us are almost forced to remember all the blessings the Lord has given us :) And oh boy, are there a lot of blessings.

Thanksgiving basket service project.

Have a fantastic Thanksgiving everyone!! 

Now, seeing that I know these things, why should I desire more than to perform the work to which I have been called? -Alma 29:6

Monday, November 16, 2015

November 16, 2015

"YAY, snakes"

Something amazing happened this week: It's finally cooled down! It's so wonderful! I never thought it would come, but it finally did. It's been in the 70's. I don't think it's been this cool since February, it has really been a blessing. I was so done with the heat. Obviously. I know it's probably snowing where you're at, but here 70 is really amazing haha. I remember why people actually choose to live in Florida.

I got a surprise opportunity to speak in church yesterday, that was fun :) There are 2 sets of missionaries in the ward, but they only asked me to speak, right before sacrament meeting started. Several people asked me if I was getting transferred, because that's when they usually seem to have missionaries speak. I'm grateful that I'm not getting transferred! Well, yet. Transfers are next week. I'm really hoping that we both stay for our last transfer. Only 7 more weeks... how did this happen.

On Saturday we had a particularly hard day. Absolutely nobody would even talk to us. Except for 2 people who tried to convince us to join their churches. One man was wearing a cross necklace and Sister Foderaro said "I see that you're Christian!" and he said "I see that you're not." As you can imagine, it didn't go too well. I was feeling discouraged that we hadn't been able to even pray with a single person that day. We came home from dinner and I saw that I had gotten a letter from Lorraine, a lady that I taught in Lake Wales. She told me that she was going to go to the temple to be baptized for both of her grandmothers. She is so strong in the gospel, and it was a great reminder of why I'm doing this. I don't care if a thousand people say no to us and tell us we're not Christian (that's probably already happened to us actually haha). It is entirely worth it for the few people that say yes. 

Our sister training leaders came on a surprise exchange with us last night. It turned out really fun! We both taught a ton of lessons in just a few hours. It helped me to have more faith in what we can accomplish.

My ponderize scripture this week is Hebrews 12:1-2:
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Ah, I love that one. I love the analogy of life being a race. Probably because I HATE running. :) But life is hard! And we can't just be passive and go along with whatever. We can't walk or jog. We have to run, or we won't win. And it doesn't make sense to carry extra baggage with us. And not only do we have to run, we have to run patiently. That sounds really hard. But, thank goodness, if we look to Christ, it's possible, and we can make it. Don't give up! :)

Monday, November 9, 2015

November 9, 2015

The other day we were knocking on someone's door and we saw a huge bird fly out of a tree above us. We thought maybe it was a hawk or a falcon, that happens pretty frequently. Nope. Peacock. For some reason in Florida, there are just peacocks running around. And apparently flying around! It's strange enough to me that they're just roaming the streets, but I didn't know they could fly. Birds can fly, go figure.

"Chasing the peacock"

This has been a crazy week, but overall really good! We set a date with a member's granddaughter, she's a really sweet kid. We don't know yet if her parents will let her get baptized though.

"I figured maybe if I acted like one of them it wouldn't run away.
For some reason it didn't work very well :)"

P.W.  also told us last Monday that she wants to be baptized and she's done waiting for her family. There are some complications there that we're trying to work out. That poor family has been through so much, and they are the kindest people ever. It's hard to have to just sit by and watch. But I know that the gospel will help them so much. She's basically willing to do whatever it takes to be baptized, so I know it will work out. Maybe not when and how we want it to, but it will :)

Ponderize scripture: 

For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward. Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness. -D&C 58:26-27

 I like this one a lot. I definitely don't want to be a slothful and unwise servant, so I've gotta step up my game! :)

Monday, November 2, 2015

November 2, 2015

"Pretty Sunset"
Well, last Monday was one of the worst days of my mission. We stopped by P's because she didn't show up to church on Sunday and she stopped answering our phone calls. And she invited us in and handed us all the church books she had and said "I'm done." She gave a lot of reasons, but basically she realized what a big commitment joining the church is and decided she didn't want to do it. All 3 of us cried. It was hard and really unexpected, but I feel satisfied that we did our part.

And the week did get better after that :) Our ward had a really fun trunk or treat, complete with a petting zoo and pony ride. And there were lots of our investigators and other non-members there, so we were basically running around like crazy. It was really good though! Then on Halloween we went trick or treating with a bunch of members. We gave some of the little kids cards to give out. One little girl even gave away 2 copies of The Book of Mormon :) Kids are the best! 

"Sister Foderaro decided to take all the stuffing
out of her pillow so of course this happened."

We also had a family show up to church on Sunday. We met them tracting a couple weeks ago. The dad used to live in Greensboro and also went to Elon University where my dad teaches so that was pretty cool!

We've been going around to the young women in the ward and helping them answer their concerns with The Book of Mormon. It's been awesome! We just turn to a random scripture and every time it's helped them. About half of them have cried so far, so I'd count that as a success :) The young women in this ward are super awesome.

"Sometimes I feel like I'm in the tropical rainforest.
This thing is huge!"

I was having kind of a hard day yesterday (Sundays are always really stressful) and so I decided to try the random scripture thing. The one I opened to was Alma 26:27:

"Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst they brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success."

I made that my ponderize scripture for the week and decided I need to bear my afflictions with a lot more patience. It gave me a lot of comfort because we haven't been having a lot of success lately. I know that the Lord is aware of us and I know that The Book of Mormon is His word and we can find answers and comfort in it. I love this gospel so much, and I love being a missionary :)